An ubiquitous Abbas Carpet can be spotted in the homes of Fawad Khan, Ali Zafar and Sherry Rehman to name a few people…did we forget to mention that Jay Z and Beyonce have one too?
In a nutshell, Abbas Carpets is a name synonymous with luxury. Their bespoke, hand knotted rugs have been a permanent feature in the export market, primarily the USA, for some forty odd years now, with an illustrious list of stockists including Bloomingdale’s, ABC Carpet and Home, and Rug Company among others. We sat down with Haider Abbas, the dynamic new face of the brand for a tête-à-tête.
A wholesale brand with an emphasis on export since inception, Abbas Carpets only recently turned its attention towards the local retail industry, with Abbas terming their presence at PSFW 2014 as the “springboard” for introduction. Their sprawling Gulberg warehouse, stocked ceiling to floor with carpets in varying shades and sizes is undergoing the process of being turned into a retail outlet. Abbas merits this shift in strategy partially to the 2007 global economic slump and partially to the fact that there are more hands on deck now for the family run business with a focus on expansion.
“The response from the international market was so staggering that my father and uncle had no time or capacity to open shop here. The financial slump not only gave us a chance to focus attention on the local market but also changed the trends and perception of rugs internationally. It led to a shift in aesthetics,” Abbas explains. Before the economic downdraft the bespoke brand only had two collections, both traditional but their current stock flaunts ten collections with eight of them based on a modern design ethos.
The classic designs are characterized by a heavy Persian influence and a fine weave (usually 16 X 16 knots per square inch or 20 x 20 for an even more intricate knit) while modern designs tend to have a coarser weave (10 x 10 knots). Obviously, the finer the weave the more detailed the pattern and design complexity is directly correlated to price. Modern designs have different influences ranging from the Uzbek Suzani and Ikat patterns to oriental and art nouveau.
“Over dyed rugs are also doing really well these days,” Abbas adds and explains the process as dying a completed rug in one shade. Abbas also mentions their Oriental Deco Collection as a favourite. Then there is the Naturals Collection that features wool that has not been coloured or dyed. Upon inquiring whether natural or dyed carpets age better, Abbas mentions that their dyes are hundred percent steadfast and carpets age according to their treatment. “An old carpet does lose some of its colour vibrancy but I feel it more than makes up for it by its vintage, lived in feel.”
Abbas’s modesty is evident when questioned about his star-studded client list. He’s hesitant to name drop (“Oh no!’ is his horrified first response) but reveals that Abbas Carpets can be found in not only the President and Governor House but also in the homes of celebrities and opinion makers all over the world. If that isn’t a testament to their quality then we don’t know what is!
– By Haiya Bokhari for Something Haute